How Online Teaching Has Given My Life Back

My Odyssey With The University of Phoenix

I had absolutely no conception how fortunate I was a year ago when I learned that I had been accepted into the training program that led to my employment at the University of Phoenix Axia College online. At the time I applied, I was at a low point in my life - unemployed, separated from my wife, sleeping on my sister's livingroom floor on an air mattress. In short, I had no life, and I was bound and determined to get it back.

So while my sister and her husband were at work during the day, I was using their computer to search for a job anywhere doing anything I was remotely qualified to do. I'm not entirely sure where I found the advertisement that the University of Phoenix Axia College was hiring adjunct instructors to teach Communications 140 - Contemporary Business Communications. Odds are, I found it in the online edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education, but I can't be sure.

My logic in applying for this position was simple - I could do the job from my home, wherever that home ended up being. I didn't need a car, didn't need to worry about gas prices skyrocketing, and it was a job, by virtue of my master's degree in journalism, that I was qualified to do.

The road from the day in early January of 2008 when I applied for that position until I began teaching was long and arduous. At several points in the process, I could have been dropped from the program, but as I passed each level of the assessment and training program, my confidence grew.

I won't go into details about specific information covered in this training, because I suspect there are trade secrets they would not want revealed. Suffice to say, the first step in the process after submitting your application is that the University cross-references your background against their needs, based upon enrollment and staffing needs at that time. So it can never hurt to submit a copy of your curriculum vitae even if they are not advertising for your field. Today that may be the case. Next week, you may fill a need they have.

My first contact with a University of Phoenix staff member was with a Faculty Recruiter. By the time I had heard from her, I had relocated from my sister's floor to sunny Central Florida, as I had three job opportunities spring up. I was scheduled to do a phone interview with this faculty recruiter one hot Florida January day, and as fate would have it, I was so sick I could barely think. I thought for sure that my chances there were doomed, but the recruiter was compassionate and offered to reschedule, to give me a chance to recover from this virus, so they would have the chance to evaluate the real me.

Shortly after that contact, I learned that I had not been successful in any of the interviews that brought me to Florida. And on top of it all, I had been communicating with my wife on a consistent basis, and for some inexplicable reason, she asked me if I would come home to Maine.

I was on the next plane out of Florida and returned to the Great White North in Maine. The first few weeks I was back, I split my time between our home and a shelter in Portland, Maine, because my wife and I still had some issues to work through. On the morning when I received the second telephone call from the Faculty Recruiter, I was actually about to enter the Preble Street Resource Center in Portland to have lunch at the cafeteria downstairs. It was so noisy in that cafeteria that I could barely hear myself think, and actually went out into the hallway and sat down on the stairs.

I wound up missing lunch that day, but it was a lunch worth missing. By the end of the phone interview, I was advised that I was approved to join their training program, and would need to have access to a computer to do this.

I did not share with the recruiter that I was presently semi-homeless and that I had just interviewed for the job in a basement soup kitchen beneath a homeless shelter. Somehow I didn't think that would be a wise move at that juncture.

Training Begins

Being approved for training would prove to be the final hurdle needed for my wife and I to reconcile. Though we still had issues to work through, we both had need for more income. Rather than maintaining separate residences, we decided to share our home that we had leased through the middle of June. It was a winter rental on the ocean in Camp Ellis, Maine, and we had the computer set up on the enclosed front porch, overlooking the ocean. The view was unbelievable!

My children, of course, were tickled pink to have Daddy back home, and I was happy - legitimately happy - for the first time in my memory. For even before my separation from my wife that plunged me into a depression so deep from which I thought I would never emerge, I was already dealing with a variety of mental health issues, stemming from an assault I endured in 2004. I had left teaching in 2006 and applied for disability income, as I grappled with the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Anxiety and this wonderful little condition known as Intermittent Explosive Disorder, an ailment that commonly afflicts people who have suffered severe head trauma. It was one of these periodic explosions that led to our separation, in November of 2007. I am proud to say that I have not had another major explosion since that day, and though I would not say that I am cured, the longer I go without having an episode the more secure I feel that I have overcome that obstacle.

I mention all this as a backdrop to explain my state of mind when I started the Core Training program for the University of Phoenix. I did not know whether I was ready to go back to work or not, but after having been denied three times for social security benefits, I really had no choice.

The Core Training program was basically an introduction to the online classroom environment, showing prospective faculty members where to find various important pieces of information, and teaching us about the educational philosophy of the University of Phoenix online.

The most impressive attribute I have experienced in the year that has passed since I joined the training program is that the trainers and support staff have all been incredibly positive and supportive. At first, I'll admit that I thought they were simply blowing sunshine out my butt, and I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. So far, that shoe has not dropped. On every level of training, and then my mentorship, I found nothing but the most positive working and learning environment in which I had ever been.

Following the Core Training, I was cleared to enter into the advanced training, which built upon themes that we learned during Core Training. Following Advanced Training, I would have to wait to see if I had made the cut, because the next step in the hiring process was a mentorship.

The Mentorship Experience

During this phase of the hiring process, I was assigned to teach two sections of Com 140, and as far as the students knew, I was their instructor. Behind the scenes, however, I was assigned to an experienced faculty member who had been hired to serve as a mentor to new faculty. Her name was Mary, and if I thought that my previous experiences with the staff and trainers had been positive, I was literally blown away by Mary. She was so dedicated, not only to the University, but to her students and "mentees" like me, and she literally taught me every trick in the book to streamline the process, so I could spend most of my time doing what I like - teaching. Mary made the technology so understandable, and advised me when I had questions about how to handle certain situations that cropped up in the classroom.

Classes at Axia College run for nine weeks, and those first nine weeks seemed to take forever. Every week I was learning something knew, because I had never taken a class in Business Communications as a student. I knew all about the Communications model, interpersonal communications, radio and television operations and journalism, but this was a new experience for me.

By the end of that mentorship, I had established a strong bond with Mary, and also developed a strong rapport with many of my students. During our final discussion week, many of the students expressed how happy they had been to be in my class. They loved my sense of humor, they loved how accessible I was (some of them calling me at midnight, forgetting that it's three hours later on the East Coast than the West Coast) and they valued the feedback I provided on their assignments. This was extremely gratifying, because I was simply doing the job I had been trained to do. In that regard, my admiration for this University grew, because it told me that the training they gave me was more than able to give the students the greatest bang for their educational buck.

Technically, although I was paid for those two classes, the mentorship process was the last step in he hiring process. and it was conceivable that I could have been let go, even at that point. Mary told me it typically took the Academic Affairs mentorship committee a couple weeks to let prospective faculty know whether they were being retained or not.

I received my notification that I had been approved and was welcomed to the ranks as a permanent faculty member after about three days, as I recall. I don't know whether I should read anything into the quick decision, but my ego would like to believe that I had done such an exemplary job that this was a higher education academic version of a slam dunk.

Moving Forward

Whatever the case, I cleared the last hurdle in the hiring process. From there, I was assigned to two more sections of the class, and I found it was much simpler teaching it the second time around. I could have taught four classes, I felt, at that time, but University policy required me to teach four sections (two sets of two) of the class, not including my mentorship, before I would be allowed to teach four classes at the same time.

As I write this, my students are agonizing over their final projects that are due on the last day of class, which is this coming Sunday. My next set of classes begin the day after this set ends, a decision I made by design. Then, in three weeks I will start two more sections, the reason being that by spacing them out, I will not be teaching the same material to the students in all four classes at the same time. Plus, because of the way the University pays us, doing it this way will ensure that I will receive a paycheck every month, which will certainly help the budgeting process!

The money I am earning is excellent to have, but the greatest value I have found in teaching for the University of Phoenix online is that because of the positive mental attitude the faculty, staff and other trainers use, my confidence has returned. It is hard to believe that just a year ago, I was living in homeless shelter, and near the bottom.

I mentioned at the top of this article that I had no idea hoiw lucky I am to have gotten this job when I did. Little did I know that a year later, our national economy would be in a freefall, and hundreds of thousands of hard working people would be out of work. Part of the reason I chose to write this hub is to encourage people who have a master's or Ph. D. degree and would like to have the opportunity to teach online, they can know what the process is like, at least at the University of Phoenix. There is a faculty referral program, where I can submit names of potential faculty to the University, and I will be pleased to do so if anyone has the appropriate experience and degrees.

A year ago, if someone had told me that I would have been hired by the University of Phoenix, teaching four classes for them, and that I would have had one novel completed and a second one nearing completion, I would have thought they were crazy. Yet this is my life today, and I thank God every day that I found that ad somewhere online and began the process to turn my life around.

So if you think you might even be slightly interested in online teaching, drop me a line. You have no idea what a wonderful, uplifting experience this process can be. In my case, it gave me the confidence I was so lacking when I was applying for and being denied for social security benefits. Ironically, now that I am back to work, an Administrative Law Judge ruled that between March of 2006 and July of 2008, I was, in fact, disabled. Today I am no longer disabled, and I have the University of Phoenix to thank for it!

Do You Like This Hub? If So, You Will Love My Novel - Antiquity Calais: Standing at Armageddon! View The Trailer!

Antiquity Calais: Standing at Armageddon is available on Amazon.com!

More by this Author


Comments 72 comments

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

This sounds really interesting to me and something I have never thought of. Do you need to also teach classes in person, or only online?


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

Sounds as if your life has really turned around, both personally and professionally.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 7 years ago from France

Very interesting and inspiring story. I am happy for you, because you have found yourself teaching to others, and that helped you regain your self confidence and pushed you to do other things like writing your book. There is nothing better than enjoying the work you do. Good luck and all the best!


ajcor profile image

ajcor 7 years ago from NSW. Australia

well done - to manage to go from the bottom to the top - brilliant - fantastic!...cheers


Laila Rajaratnam profile image

Laila Rajaratnam 7 years ago from India

A really amazing and wonderful story and congrats for putting your life together so very neatly!Thanks for an inspiring hub!:)


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 7 years ago from Florida Author

A few thoughts - first, thank you all for your comments - it's nice to see that people have been reading, but also feel compelled to write as well!

Ajcor - I guess the best way to put it is that there's a reason why it's called the bottom - you can't go any lower, so the only way to go is up! I never could have envisioned how quickly and how high I would rise, and the only thing I can think of is that God said that I had been through enough and deserved to start enjoying life again.

Princessa - the writing of the first book - Antiquity Calais: Standing at Armageddon - was also a big part of my therapy, particularly since I modeled the antagonist after the jerk who assaulted me. A counselor told me I would never be able to get past what happened unless I confronted him. For practical and legal reasons, that was not possible, so I chose to do it in writing. That book was already in progress when things started to turn around, but it was nowhere nearly ready to submit to publishers, so that is one very good thing that has happened in the past year.

Londongirl - I would agree with that sentiment. but I feel like I still have a way to go before I can say that I'm back on track. For starters, I have felt for some time that if I am going to commit myself to teaching college students, I really need a doctoral degree, which is why I am preparing the begin a doctorate in education program online. That will open doors that I could not hope to pass through with just a master's degree.

Sweetiepie - You don't have to teach in a traditional classroom. Many faculty teach solely online, though I have met a few online who have lived close enough to one of the University's ground-based campuses so they do both. You do need a minimum of a master's degree in order to teach for Axia College, which is part of the University. It offers an associates degree. In order to teach in the bachelor's degree program, you need to have a Ph. D.

And Laila, it's funny because when I sat down to write the story, my plan was simply to describe the training program and talk about what a great employer they have been. Many of the faculty I have met online have been teaching for them for years, which is a testiment to the kind of organization they are. There are certainly plenty of other online programs people could go to, but there is a loyalty among the faculty to this institution. At any rate, as I wrote this hub, it kind of took on a life of its own, and I realized that in order to tell the story properly, I had to provide the background information about what was going on in my life to explain why this was such a God-send for me.

I know there are a lot of highly qualified people out there who may have never thought of teaching online who may find themselves out of work. I expect online teaching programs to continue to grow despite the bad state of the economy, because many of my students have related to me that they chose to go back to school now so they will be more marketable in the future, when the economy turns around.

I have two students in one of my classes right now who are preparing to go into business for themselves, and are applying the lessons they have learned in my class to help get them started. That's very satisfying to me, because we always hope that what we are teaching will translate into success in the "real world."

So again, thanks to you all for your wonderful comments.

Jim


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

Thanks for writing this, Jim -- very informative indeed. I started the initial screening process to teach for the University, now that I'm retired. But I dropped out of the process after a couple of days, because I really need a break from teaching. And to be honest, I was dubious about an online university. But your description has been encouraging. Regarding the personal stuff in your life: congratulations on the book and on finding your feet. What is it about seeming disasters that force us to turn them into success? All the best!


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 7 years ago from Florida Author

It's funny because I was talking with my counselor the other day about my social scurity claim. My claim was denied on three levels, including an administrative law judge. Following that final denial, I concluded I needed to begin looking for work again. In the mean time, there was one more appeal to the "Appeals Council" in Virginia. They were not authorized to approve my application, but only to look at whether the judge committed any errors in law. Rarely do they overrule such a judge, but in this case, they did. So that gave me another hearing with a different judge who ultimately approved my claim. The irony is that if the first judge had made that ruling, I could have applied to have all my student loans paid off, as a permanently disabled person. But since I returned to work, and my case was approved for a limited time frame, I cannot make that case. So I said to my counselor that the original judge had cost me several thousand dollars, but he said the judge did me a favor, because I'll make far more in salary from the University of Phoenix than I would have gained by having my loans forgiven. He had a point there.

The good thing about the training program is that whenever you reach a point where you are ready to consider teaching online, you will likely be able to get your foot in the door. I had started this process twice before, but decided it wasn't the right time for me. Now I'm wishing I had pursued it earlier, because it may have helped me overcome the demons that plagued me much sooner. Of course, I have no way of knowing, so all I can say is that I'm glad I am where I am today, and not dwell on the past. Thanks for the note Teresa!

Jim


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

What are you doing for your PhD?


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 7 years ago from Florida Author

It will be a doctorate in education, which technically is not a PhD, but an EDD. Either way, people will still get to call me Doctor Crash, if they are so-inclined.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

EDD? What is that?


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 7 years ago from Florida Author

An Education Doctor.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

I actually have a master's degree in education and two teaching credentials, so I am familiar with the requirements needed for teaching primary, secondary, and at college levels. However, I am not big on long term standing in front of the class room delivering lessons because my class room management is not the best, so I was just curious. I am glad this has worked out for you though, but I probably should just stay with the library.


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 7 years ago from Florida Author

SweetiePie - Certainly doing library work can be very fulfilling and if you enjoy it, you should keep doing it! Let me just say this, though. At the University of Phoenix the teaching is done in an asynchronous format, so you are not lecturing. The University provides the syllabus and all the assignments, and you would post assignments on a weekly basis. Every other week they have read and discuss weeks, where the students have to answer two discussion questions, based on the reading. On those weeks, your primary responsibility is to facilitate the discussions, commenting on students' posts and sometimes posting follow-up questions pertaining to the same subject. So it really is very different than a traditional classroom. The other nice thing is that a lot of faculty have other jobs, and they are so flexible that you could do your work after your library shift from the comfort of your home.

Jim


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

crashcromwell,

It does sound very interesting the more you talk about it. Perhaps I will see if there are openings in the future.


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 7 years ago from Florida Author

As I said before, there's never any harm in submitting a vitae. They may not need anyone with your qualifications now, but in six months they may. I just got lucky they were advertising a course I was qualified to teach, but as I said above, this was actually the third time I had applied there. Feel free to drop by my inbox if you want more information.

Jim


newsworthy 7 years ago

This hub is a healthy prelude to the rest of the story and should be told. I know firsthand that writing about a past experience gets you over it.

You are truly an overcomer from a temporary setback. Congrats on beating the odds, and congrats on your success.


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 7 years ago from Florida Author

Thank you newsworthy. I have, in fact, written about the therapeutic value of writing, and the role it played in my recovery. Here is the link to that hub. http://hubpages.com/health/How-can-writing-about-y... .

The ironic part about this, and the reason why I attribute so much of my healing to the fateful work with the University of Phoenix, is that there were many times before then that I did not consider this a temporary ailment. I honestly believed that I would be haunted by what happened to me for the rest of my life, just as many who have seen the attrocities of war and return home with chronic PTSD. Until I entered this training program, it seemed as if I would take one step forward and two steps back. Since then, things have been getting progressively better, so I don't think it's a coincidence.

Thanks again for writing newsworthy!

Jim


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

Congratulations, Jim, on overcoming some mighty tough obstacles to success. Teaching online sounds like something that many hubbers might have an interest in -- especially at a time when our economy is on the rocks and jobs are scarce. You set an excellent example for those who are facing hardships and looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 7 years ago from Florida Author

Thanks William. I see online education only getting stronger. I just started another set of classes on Monday, and the number of my students who have either lost their jobs and decided to go back to school, or who are fearful of losing their job and wanting to be more marketable, is outrageous.

Jim


MagPie 7 years ago

Thank you so much for writing this. You are truly an inspiration. I just sent off my resume to Axia (UoP). Iam just weeks away from completing my Masters but I do not have any experience teaching. Iwould love to teach psychology courses. I am a counselor and have been in the field for 5 years, so hopefully that means something. Who knows though. Thank you again for the great information!


Roger Goodman 7 years ago

"Dr. Crash",

I just started the process of applying to many online universities for adjunct faculty positions. So far, I've only heard back from 2 of them. One school said they were forwarding my resume to the dean of the program. However, the other school (University of Phoenix) just denied me for the second time. For some reason I can't get past their faculty recruiters! I have applied to programs in their Axia College, and in other schools they operate. Any suggestions? I have a copy of my CV if you want to look at it....

Roger


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 7 years ago from Florida Author

Roger - All I can say is that they contact people based upon their enrollment needs. I was fortunate because my background was sufficient to teach one of Axia's entry point courses, which all students have to take. So basically, if enrollment continues to increase, as I expect it will, there will always be teachers needed to teach Com 140, which is my class at present.

I should mention that I applied to Axia three different times over the years, and only got in on the last attempt.

I would be happy to look at your CV, though I should mention that I am about as far from a decision making process in terms of who gets hired as you could possibly get.

That said, there is a referral program for existing faculty to recommend prospective faculty. I have never participated in that program, so I do not know if it enhances your chances of getting your foot in the door. It certainly can't hurt, though!

Jim Henry


Theodosia M. Lovett 7 years ago

I am veru interested. I am currently ging through something similar. With my husband in the proes of being laid off this would be helful. Prior to reading this, I applied to Axia. I am currently doing the online interview. I would like any feedback you can give.


Theodosia Lovett 7 years ago

Pardon my typo. I am very interested.


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 7 years ago from Florida Author

Theodosia - If you would like to send me specific questions by email, I will be happy to answer anything I can.

Jim Henry


Theo 7 years ago

Sorry I just got your message. I am passed the question phase now Im doing the faculty page. Hopefully things will go well.


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 7 years ago from Florida Author

Well good luck to you. Do you have a conception yet of what they are recruiting you to teach? I have recently learned that the class I am teaching - Communications 140 - is their highest area of need, so I think they are continually recruiting people for that class.


Theo 7 years ago

It is Critical Thinking


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 7 years ago from Florida Author

That is an excellent class. I actually took a Critical Thinking workshop there in hopes that at some point I may add it to my repertoire. Good luck with that!

Jim Henry


adjunct profile image

adjunct 7 years ago from The Big Easy

This is a first rate account of success through education! Well done all around. I've been teaching online full time for five years. It really works. Further, my instincts tell me that the number of students attending online degree programs is going through the roof. I currently teach for three different online schools and my classes are slam full of students.

Thanks!

adjunct


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 7 years ago from Florida Author

I think you have to be comfortable with technology to effectively teach and learn online. I have had some pretty bright students who just couldn't cut it in my online classes, but they were clearly intelligent. However, I agree with your assessment about enrollment skyrocketing. The class I teach for the University of Phoenix is one of the entry point classes that all students have to go through. Recently I inquired about the potential of teaching other courses for which I feel I am qualified. The scheduler told me that their greatest need right now is finding more and more teachers for the class I am teaching, because as enrollment increases, they need more teachers to keep class sizes manageable. As long as that trend continues, I expect I will have job security I could not count on in a face-to-face environment.

Would you care to share which programs you teach for, and what subjects?

Thanks for the comment adjunct!

Jim


Theo 7 years ago

Just wanted to update you. i have been approved for faculty training. Hopefully I will make it through that process.


Theo 7 years ago

Just wanted to update you. i have been approved for faculty training. Hopefully I will make it through that process.


Bee 7 years ago

Theo, I just finished my online interview moments ago. I was told that there are other interviews today and that I'd get a call back tomorrow. Is this how it was handled with you or were you invited to train on the spot. I know Crash was asked after the phone interview.


Bee 7 years ago

Just to update you. I was approved for faculty training. Thanks for your helpful post.


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 7 years ago from Florida Author

Congratulations Theo and Bee. I hope your experiences with University of Phoenix are as positive as mine has been.

Jim


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 7 years ago from Florida Author

Congratulations Theo and Bee. I hope your experiences with University of Phoenix are as positive as mine has been.

Jim


Theo 7 years ago

Sorry Bee, I just got your message, I have not been on here in a while. It took them about a week before they sent me my welcome letter. I am in my last week of training. Does anyone know when they do the employment verification? I was just wondering, because one of my past employers will be leaving town in the next week or two. i did not want them to miss him.


Twin XL 7 years ago

There is some excellent information both in the hub and comments! Thanks to you all!


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 7 years ago from Florida Author

Twin - I am glad you found this informational. Are you considering applying to teach?

Jim Henry


Chuck 7 years ago

I enjoyed reading this page . . . lots of good information. I have my phone interview with Axia scheduled for Monday. Can any of you give me any insight into what I might expect in this interview?

My M.A. is in Speech Communication, so hopefully that is a high-need field.

Thanks,

Chuck


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 7 years ago from Florida Author

Chuck - I have no information about what the University's needs are at the moment. The class I was originally hired to teach is being eliminated, but they have approved me to teach an essay writing class, which is also slated to be replaced with two more classes. I am told that once they make that transition, I will be qualified to teach both of the new classes. So there are a lot of changes going on at the University now.

To be honest with you Chuck, my telephone interview was a walk in the park. The questions I was asked were more revealing than challenging for me, and it was pretty easy to deduce what answer they wanted. This is not to say that I simply said what they wanted to hear. As fate would have it, my teaching philosophy was a good match for the University's. I remember telling the recruiter that one of the things I would do to retain students would be to be proactive and call students who either had not shown up for class at all, or who were struggling early in the class, to try to help them right the ship. I have done that many times (including earlier today). One day I contacted a student on my roster and she expressed surprise that she was enrolled in my class, because she had told her academic advisor she wanted to take the holidays off, so she was taking a break. She also said to me that she was pleasantly surprised that an instructor would go out of his way to check in with her, and I am sure that left her with a good feeling about the University in general. I have no idea if she returned to classes after the holidays, but at that time she was appreciative.

The phone interview is simply the first step in the hiring process, and along the way there are different stages. I found the training so exemplary that there was no doubt in my mind that eventually I would get to teach here. I also kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, because it had been so positive an experience that I was cynical. I wondered if they were shining sun shine where the sun shouldn't be shining, but in time my skepticism waned, as I found more and more quality educators with a real positive mental attitude.

I want to assure you or anyone else who is considering teaching for the University of Phoenix that I am being completely sincere in my praise for the level of support they provide their recruits and ongoing support for faculty after they have been hired. I have also taught for two other online institutions, and in both cases I felt the level of training was poor, and the level of support was as well. Perhaps as I become a more seasoned faculty member, I will not need as much support in the initial stages as I do now, but I can say that there has been a direct correlation between the level of support and training and the quality of the teaching experience. The other two programs, which I shall not identify, I would not accept an assignment to teach for them again, because I know too much about how they operate.

Jim Henry


Chuck 7 years ago

Thanks so much, Jim, for your very helpful response. My phone interview on Monday went very well, and I moved on to the next stage in the process, which is getting all of my information submitted (transcripts, etc.). I am scheduled to begin training on October 13. I'm cautiously optimistic that I'll make it through training to the mentoring stage, since I'm going to be very careful to be prompt and attentive at every stage in this process.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

Sincerely,

Chuck


Mel 7 years ago

Oh wow! This thread was great to read! Tons of information!

Thanks Jim for providing insight on your personal journey. I am happy that you were blessed with such opportunity. I am currently employed, but I am faced with hardship given that I am a single parent. I recently started looking into part time teaching opportunities to supplement my income and I can across Axia University. I was just recently invited to complete the online interview. I noticed that you never mentioned this phase of the process - did u have to undergo this process "Online Interview"? I completed the questions briefly and expressed my points clearly, I am just nervous that I didn't give long responses.....Given that I am a HR professional, we like to keep things simple, given we are reading 100 resumes a day....I am generally looking for key words and grammar free resumes...I hope I didn't take myself out the running given my brief responses. It has only been two days since I submitted the online interview....I was just wondering what was your experience or for that matter Chuck or Theo, if they could express their journey thus far with the University.....Congrats Chuck and Theo on reaching the next phase!

Mel-


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 7 years ago from Florida Author

I do not remember an online interview. My process started when I found a job listing online, probably in the Chronicle of Higher Education, I suspect. I sent in my CV, and they responded offering me a telephone interview.

I hope your experience goes well, and feel free to drop by and let us know how things are going for you.

Jim Henry


TeachGal 6 years ago

Thank you for posting your story - it seems like working for them has been a very positive experience for you! I just recently completed the first step in the process by sending my resume to a recruiter. The email she sent outlined the recruiting and training process. I was just curious - how many hours per week do you devote to teaching each class? I work full-time and would be doing this for extra money, but I want to make sure I'm not overextending myself.


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crashcromwell 6 years ago from Florida Author

I hate to be vague TeachGal, but it really depends on the class you are teaching. I presently teach Com 140 and Com 150. Com 140 is less time-consuming because the difficulty level of the work is less. Plus, being an entry point class, the attrition rate tends to be higher. The students I get in Com 150 are those who survived Com 140, and though I do lose some students, the attrition rate is lower there. The other issue is that when you first start out, it takes time to get acclimated to the process. Once you have written feedback for each week and each assignment, you can re-use them for future classes.

That said, they say on average to expect about 15 hours a week per section. I do most of my work at night after the kids are asleep, and I am presently teaching four sections.

I hope this is helpful, and wish you well in the process. Feel free to drop by my inbox any time as you proceed.

Jim Henry


Monique  6 years ago

I would love to know what I need to do and how to apply for a position. Please email at moniero7@yahoo.com


Christie Thies 6 years ago

Ok, you are my inspiration to go further. I will have my BS in Health Administration in about 5 more classes with the University of Phoenix (5 week classes). I have been a substitute teacher at the Elem., Middle and High school. I love it. I am thinking about getting my MBA or even PhD. I thought teaching online would be great. I know you can't put in a good word yet, but maybe in about another four years I will try to teach and work at university of Phoenix/Axia with you. However, if you can give me any information, like where to apply and any other nuggets of goodness, I would greatly appriciate it. Thank you and so glad that everything worked out for you.


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crashcromwell 6 years ago from Florida Author

Christie - I am pleased my story has inspired you, because it was my hope that would be the case when I wrote it.

Just so you know, Axia College of the University of Phoenix will hire faculty possessing a master's degree. So while it is admirable that you aspire to perhaps pursue a Ph.D., you may be able to teach in as little as two years.

Whereas I received my master's degree in 1992, I really do not have any experience with the quality of master's programs. All I can say is that the University of Phoenix has been a joy to work for, and I have confidence in the quality of their online degrees.

I am sorry for not being perhaps as definitive as you would like. Regardless of which road you choose to follow, I wish you well, and you can feel free to drop by my inbox any time you would like.

Jim Henry


Amelia Snellgrove 6 years ago

Well I can only tell you that I am inspired by your writing. I have recently applied at Axia College. I was so excited about the recruiter contacting me about reviewing my resume' further. Then, I check my email and she wants me to answer a questionaire. I was so excited. I answered all the questions. I sent it back. I went over and over the questions. I thought I did a great job. Well, all that happened the first of June. I have yet to hear from her again. I am so let down by not hearing from her again. I guess there is nothing for me to teach. I so want to do this. I just loved reading your story. I am a kindergarten teacher of 19 years. I have two advance degrees. I have a masters and education specialist degree. I worked on both of my advance degrees through online education. I also have certificate in online education. I still have to hold out hope. Your story was very inspiring.


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crashcromwell 6 years ago from Florida Author

Amelia - Thank you so much for your note. I would not lose heart about not hearing back from them, because their needs fluctuate all the time, depending on enrollment. I would also suggest that you contact the recruiter and politely ask if your application is still active. My suspicion is that if you were not under consideration, they would tell you so. As it is, if their needs in your area of expertise changed, it would be better for you to halt the process now instead of after you begin the training program. Training is unpaid time, and I would have been unhappy to devote my time without the prospects of employment if I passed the training program. If I can be of any help to you, please do not hesitate to contact me directly by email. I will be happy to do what I can to help.

Jim Henry


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okclbates 6 years ago from Oklahoma

Thank you for a very inspirational look on becoming an online adjunct. I received my MBA from UOP in 2004 and I was bitten then by the bug to teach. I knew that UOP had a two year waiting period to teach after receiving an advanced degree. I had put my dream aside as my career and family continued to progress as I was only taking teaching in a brick and mortar environment into consideration.

Just recently it dawned on me that online teaching would be perfect given my situation-career, younger kids, living outside a metropolitan area. I just recently sent my information in for my first part of the interview process and I'm waiting to hear back to see if I've advanced to the phone interview.

I'm praying with all my heart that I make it through the vetting process, but I know that I have to give it up to God and if it is his will, it will be.

I've been researching experiences teaching through Axia/UOP and I've heard a lot of negative things which really surprises me as my experience as a student with UOP was excellent. Once again, thank you for taking the time to post your experience. It was a breath of fresh air and it gives me hope.


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crashcromwell 6 years ago from Florida Author

Yes, I have read many of the same negative reports that I am sure you have. My belief is that in the age of the internet, it is very easy to distribute information to mass audiences that used to be passed predominantly by word of mouth. There is also the simple fact that people in general are far more likely to spread negative news than positive news. A disgruntled customer will tell six people for every one person a happy customer will tell.

Good luck as you pursue your calling to teach. Are you applying to teach for the University of Phoenix or Axia? Believe it or not, it is easier to get into Axia than UofP, particularly with a master's degree as opposed to a terminal degree.

Jim Henry


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okclbates 6 years ago from Oklahoma

Jim,

The documentation I sent in was to teach Beginning Algebra and/or Accounting with Axia. I'm glad to hear it's easier to get on with Axia as that helps with my anxiety level in regards to waiting. I'm hoping the fact that I received my MBA from UOP might help with my application process as I am familiar with aspects of the learning model from my days as a student.

As with any situation, I believe that most of what we receive is from what we make of the experiences with which we are presented. Professionally there have been several instances where I could have talked badly about my various companies, thrown in the towel, and trashed them all throughout cyberland. However, I've focused on getting weathering the storm and looking for the light at the end of the tunnel and more times than not, I've been rewarded my work.

I'm really hoping this does work out as it will give me the best of both worlds.

Best regards,

Christina Bates


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crashcromwell 6 years ago from Florida Author

Christina - I know the first time I applied at Axia I never heard anything. The second time I got an interview almost immediately. It all depends on their enrollment needs.

I recently discovered a yahoo group that is dedicated to online teaching, and you can get the low down on all the online programs. Here's a link to that group. I would suggest that you join and check it out.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OnlineTeachingJobs/?...

Good luck again!

Jim


Patricia G 6 years ago

That was an awesome experience Jim! You are truly a blessed man! I actually have a phone interview tomorrrow afternoon for the UOP ground campus in San Antonio, TX. I am very excited and also very nervous about it. I was really interested in the online campus positions and would definitely appreciate a name drop. I jusr recently completed a Master's of Science in Health Care Administration and am currently working in medical contracting.


Heather 5 years ago

I worked for a number of years for a great company teaching middle and HS students online in the eveings. My own kids began needing me more in the evenings so I'm looking for day time online work.


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crashcromwell 5 years ago from Florida Author

That's the beauty of the asynchronous style of many online programs. If the time you have to devote is in the daytime, you can log in during the daytime. Historically I have gotten most of my work done after the kids have gone to bed, though I am trying to moderate my work schedule a bit. Thanks for the note, and good luck!

Jim


Jalus 5 years ago

What a great, inspiring story! The university is lucky to have YOU as a teacher, in my opinion. Thanks for sharing!


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crashcromwell 5 years ago from Florida Author

Jalus - At the risk of sounding arrogant, I would agree with you that the University - and by extension my students - are lucky to have me among the many highly qualified teachers on the faculty. However, on balance I would still say that I have benefited from the relationship to a greater degree. I hate to think where my life would be right now if it were not for the University of Phoenix. Thanks for the comment!

Jim


Tiffany 5 years ago

I'm finishing up my MMA at UOP. I recently had a revelation that I want to teach online classes and help others like myself achieve their educational dreams. Your story is wonderful and inspiring. As I read along this page, I became more and more excited and inspired until I got to the comment that said you have two wait two years after graduation to teach, is this still the case?


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crashcromwell 5 years ago from Florida Author

Tiffany:

I think you may have been referring to a comment from a reader who has a bachelor's degree. If you have your MMA, and if the University has needs in your area of expertise, you would be ahead of the game.

As much as I enjoy teaching for the University of Phoenix, I would be remiss if I did not mention that there is a yahoo group of online educators, where we discuss other programs, what works, what doesn't. If you are interested in joining that group, send me an email and I will give you details.

Thanks for the note Tiffany, and congratulations on your pending degree!

Jim


MichaelainNC 5 years ago

What an inspiring story, kudos to you!

I have one Masters in Public Administration and have just about finished my second Masters in SSE/History. I have already passed the written interview and am scheduled for the phone interview this afternoon. I have 10 years experience in online learning via Blackboard because that is how I attained almost all of my first masters degree.

I am very interested in facilitating online classes because you can set your own hours and there is no parking or commuting involved. I am the very disciplined type. Any pointers for the phone interview?


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crashcromwell 5 years ago from Florida Author

MichaelainNC:

When I did my phone interview, I remember it clearly, and I recall feeling like it was a surreal kind of experience, because every question they asked was like a hanging curve ball that I knocked over the Green Monster at Fenway. In the months that followed, as I went through their training program, I developed a theory that the phone interview was not the focus, because they could drop a subpar candidate at the end of the core training, or the advanced training before they even have to shell out money. The last step in the hiring process is the mentorship, and for that you are paid as a member of the faculty. So I kind of doubt you will have much trouble today. Good luck!

Jim


MichaelainNC 5 years ago

I had the phone interview, it seemed to go well. The academic recruiter said his team would go over the it and make a decision and he asked if I had any vacations or trips planned and I told him that I did not. The phone interview was on Feb 3rd and I have not heard back from him. I looked on their online facilitator job openings page and the the one I applied for is no longer listed...is that bad? Does that mean they have already hired whoever they wanted for that position and I was not chosen? It was still posted last week before I had the phone interview...


Charlene Rousseau 5 years ago

I am a Master's degree holder as of 2008, and currently in the dissertation phase of my PhD in the same field, Industrial-Organizational Psychology. I am currrently in the field of Training and Development and have been for over 7 years. I have been feeling very frustrated in my search for an online teaching position as well as in-vivo adjunct faculty positions. It has been very frustrating and I just can't seem to get my foor through a door. Anything that you can do to advise or assist me would greatly be appreciated.


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crashcromwell 5 years ago from Florida Author

MichaelainNC - I doubt it. You should hear from them either way. Usually if they are recruiting for a "position" they have multiple slots open, because it would not be cost-effective to enroll a bunch of people in the training program knowing that only one person is going to be retained. It can't hurt to call back or email someone in a couple days, if you have not heard from them. Good luck!

By the way, I posted in a note above about a yahoo group for online educators. If you would like information about it, send me an email and I will forward the details to you.

Jim


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crashcromwell 5 years ago from Florida Author

Charlene:

Enrollment numbers are down, for a variety of reasons, and adjunct positions are offered based on enrollment needs.

I have mentioned before about a yahoo group for online educators. They have a wealth of information. Here is a link to the sign-up page.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OnlineTeachingJobs/?...

Good luck!

Jim


mikey 4 years ago

i love my ed


Bam 23 months ago

wow, reading these asnewrs is really alarming. before i even clicked through I was solidly decided on #1.I am a young grad student so take this with a grain of salt, but I've seen way too many scientists that have work, work, and only work in their lives, and I'm early enough in my career to try and avoid that if I can help it. I worked in a boring-ass little town for a while, and the scientists there worked all day every day every weekend because it was the only thing to do and the only place they had friends or anyone with whom they shared common interests. They didn't have relationships, they didn't have hobbies, they didn't travel, they didn't have ANYthing except their work. What happens to these people when they're denied tenure or finish up their postdocs? It was unsettling.I'd much rather be living in a place that makes me happy (a spouse or SO would likely prefer such a place as well). If the coworkers are just annoying or bothersome, it's unpleasant but doesn't literally prevent me from doing my job. If it DOES, I would leave before submitting myself to a miserable lifestyle just to do the work that should, after all, be only a PART of a happy life, not an entire life.It's also worth pointing out: I have trouble imagining living in a place with a lifestyle I adore and having colleagues I truly can't stand. Ideally, these people will have been similarly attracted to this location, and will have similar outside interests and life priorities (of course, this doesn't mean they can't also be raging jerks, but...) At the moment I'm living in a very lackluster city, and unsurprisingly I have very lackluster colleagues - some are dull, some are nice, and some are insane, but I still get my work done. When I spent a summer in an awesome hippie town in the West, I had awesome hippie colleagues. It was my most productive summer ever, and also a fantastic lifestyle. The two are often interconnected.So I guess I'm the outlier here. But again, I'm young and not applying for jobs for a few more years, so maybe I'm just the voice of what everyone used to think??

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